May 3, 2016:Addressing a School Safety Programme at Bal Bharati School, Noida on May 3, 2016, The Chief Guest Shri KM Singh Vice President, Policy Perspectives Foundation stressed the importance of generating awareness among children of impressionable age about threats from various hazards like earthquake, fire and drowning etc. He impressed on importance of periodic holding of evacuation exercises and mock drills to prepare children to face challenges. He encouraged the school children to develop a resource map and prepare mitigation measures (hazard vise) for various disasters such as fire, earthquake, floods etc. Shri RC Sharma, former Director Fire Services, Delhi Govt the keynote speaker addressed the children and explained various dos & don’ts in case of different hazards, particularly fire illustrating his advice through a power point presentation.
The programme was organised by Dr. Kumar Raka, Head of the Disaster Management Cell, Noida and was sponsored by ‘Shuttle’, as a part of their corporate social responsibility initiative. Shri RC Sharma, Vice President, Mrs. Anupama Motwani Bal Bharati School, Shri Veer Singh, Vice President, Shuttle and Mr. Nakul Tarun, Safety Expert-Shuttle participated in the programme which was attended by 300 students of classes 11 & 12 and 30 faculty members.
The Policy Perspectives Foundation (PPF) has been active in spreading awareness about how to cope with various natural and even manmade disasters and hazards. The Foundation had also organized a three-day School Safety Programme at Delhi Public School, Ludhiana earlier in May 2015.
Children who are the future of our nation are highly vulnerable to disaster impacts, especially those who are living in hazard prone environment. Many schools in India are located in vulnerable areas and unprepared to respond to emergencies. Creating a safe environment for the children in schools is the most important task. Natural disasters affect even more children, causing them to lose their homes, their families, their schools, and their access to adequate food, water and sanitation. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure the safety of children and provide them with a safe environment, in which they can blossom into good citizens. For this purpose, both structural, as well as non-structural interventions will be necessary. Structural interventions would include strict adherence to guidelines set up for school buildings, while non- structural ones would include educating the staff, teachers, and students about school safety measures in order to mitigate and prepare for a disaster.
The Foundation hopes that these initiatives will act as a guideline to the educational institutions, emergency officials, teachers, students and even the community at large to address the special and multi-faceted needs of children in the event of natural and manmade disasters. These initiatives aim to empower children through imparting knowledge about safety measures to make them responsible future members of a disaster resilient society.